Belfast Telegraph

Crisis 'may cost 12,000 bank jobs'

Banking jobs cuts will soar to as many as 12,000 since the start of the financial crisis, it is now feared.

Rank-and-file leaders have warned the 6,000 lay-offs from around the time of the State banking guarantee in September 2008 will likely double over the coming few years.

Seamus Sheils, spokesman for the Irish Banking Officials Association, said frontline, lower-paid workers in the industry felt they were being sacrificed while those who caused the collapse continued lives of luxury.

"When this crisis started we suggested that as many as 10,000 jobs could go, and it gives us no satisfaction to say that suggestion is closer to fulfilment every day," he said. "We now fear significantly more than that will be lost - it could be 12,000."

Mr Sheils added: "The jobs that have gone are generally among the rank and file. There's a sense of injustice, they feel they are being scapegoated for the reckless behaviour of others at a much higher level.

"It would appear still that no-one at those higher levels who would bear responsibility for the near collapse of Irish banking are going to be held to account.

"One or two are under investigation, which has been ongoing for some time now."

Over the past three-and-a-half years, and including the announcement of 2,500 lay-offs at AIB, there have been more than 10,000 redundancies announced across the financial sector.

"Ordinary bank officials feel a sense of frustration that they are suffering significant losses whereas those who are closer to the engine room and closer to steering the ship onto the rocks appear to have escaped relatively unscarred," said Mr Sheils.

"Many of these people have left their institutions with golden parachutes, living in extreme comfort and don't really appear to have suffered any significant loss other than perhaps some reputational damage."

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